Riding on surrounding properties - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Waxhaw, NC
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Riding on surrounding properties

I've read nurmerous threads of people who have gained permission from land owners surrounding them to ride the trails on their properties. How does one go about obtaining said permission?

I ride my trails and my neighbors trails currently. We ride the roads, and i'm worknig on getting trailer tires so we can have more places to ride. Just up the road from me is this "pine forest" of perfectly planted pines in rows; everytime I pass it I think to myself "Man I would love to ask to ride in there"

The entrance to the property is a red gate and a looooong dirt road. I dont want to trespass to introduce myself or ask to ride there. I also would kind of feel like its rude to say "Hi, I'm your neighbor down the road, was wondering if I could ride your amazing trails?" How did some of you do it? Coincidence that you ran into them? Did you ride onto their property to ask? Am I just simply out of my mind?

Its obviously not life changing if I do/dont ride there, was just kind of curious from other peoples posts how they went about getting that kind of perimission.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
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I don't ride my horse onto their property to ask. Clean yourself up, put on some decent clothes (not dressy, but clean and well fitting) and drive your car down to ask if it's ok.

Tell them who wants to ride, your best bet is just yourself, most landowners don't want randoms coming on their property. At first ask for a specific date/time, you have a much better chance of a onetime yes than a blanket yes. At least at first, after the landowner gets to know you a little better they may just offer for you to ride whenever you'd like.

To up your chances of getting free rein to ride whenever you'd like be respectful of their property. Don't ask to ride when it's wet, clean up after yourself and your horse (yes this includes manure if its on a yard or driveway), be SAFE (landowners worry about liability a lot), if they have small children offer a pony ride. Basically be nice, respectful, and develop a relationship with them.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 06:47 PM
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They may either hunt or rent the land out during hunting season. You would need to bring that up. Also, the land owner might not actually live there. The way that I would stalk them out is to ask the mail carrier or the UPS or Fedex carrier who owns that property. They know where everybody lives.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 07:58 PM
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Last edited by Joe4d; 01-06-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 08:38 PM
Green Broke
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What MNTigerstripes said. And if you're not sure who owns the land, just go to the town office and you can get that info. I've done that several times and the land owners all appreciated my calling and asking. Plus, they like me keeping an eye on the properties.

At the end of each riding season, when deer hunting season starts in November, I make up gift baskets of goodies and stop by and deliver them to all my property owners and thank them all for the privilege of riding on their land. They often ask me questions about how everything looks ect...

One dear gentleman has told me I can cut new trails if I want. He loves the fact that I maintain the existing trails and has taken a liking to me and my husband. He doesn't want any ATV's out there, but let's me use mine in the spring to clean up the trails. I always call before going out with the ATV so he knows it's me.

One piece of land was sold, and the back field was a connecting trail to many others for me. Unfortunately the new owners posted it all. I did call and ask permission, but was denied. I thanked them for speaking with me and that was that. I guess you can't win them all.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 11:42 PM
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I can't stress being polite enough. We only ever let one person hunt on our farm year after year. First of all he stopped and politely asked for permission, he also made sure at the begining of each season that he was still welcome. Second, he listened to the rules and followed them without ever having to be reminded. Third, he thanked us at the end of each season for allowing him access. Lastly he always dropped off a Christmas basket, it wasn't needed but was appreciated.

If your curious, he never did get a deer. He never asked where the deer hid during hunting season and we never volunteered that information. We only owned part of a forested hill top and that's where he hunted. There was enough pressure on that hill they left the forest to hide in our brushy ditch rows.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-06-2012, 11:55 PM
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Unless there are Keep Out signs posted on the gate, you aren't really *trespassing* if you stay on the road and go knock on their door. Just make sure to keep their gate shut in-case they have free-ranging animals. I've had several folks come by to ask since going across my property means you can skip a busy road.

Riding your horse smack through the middle of someone's property and scaring their dog to half to death isn't a good way to say hi. I wasn't in the slightest bit thrilled.... was even less thrilled to find the boarding stable down the road SUGGESTED people ride on my property!
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 12:32 AM
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Location: Oregon
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Just remembered something in the case of Oregon and maybe in other states. An uncontested trail across private property becomes a public right away (sp?) after X number of years. A new owner can fight the public access but there is not guarantee they will win in court. Insanity like that makes it harder for us to get permission to ride on private property.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 05:14 AM
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Location: Orange County, NC
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Originally Posted by Walkamile View Post
Plus, they like me keeping an eye on the properties.
That is the way it is around here. We are surrounded by several hundred acres of old family properties with fields and woods. The fields are leased to a farmer we see 3-4 times a year, and the woods are left untouched. Both the owners and the farmer are more than happy to have someone riding around watching the places. As others said, be aware of any hunting that may go on. In our case, we're lucky that the owners do not allow hunting on their properties.
There is no need to be shy...just be respectful.

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-07-2012, 06:11 PM
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I would try and find your neighbors number. Especially if they live there.
We used to live/still own 300 acres of river bottom owning both sides of the river and one of the most dangerous rapids in the state. Nothing made me more angry than strangers driving up to my house to ask permission to go down to the rapids and take pictures of the wrecks or to fish. They should have called. I've been caught out in my undies gardening toooo many times! LOL! At least they asked, we had to run off numerous riders/ATV's/fishers because they thought the trail through the pasture was public access even though it was posted. I especially didn't like the horses coming through, disease, sent my horses into a ruckus, etc...

I LOVE riding tree farms! When I was a kid there was an enormous pasture down the road that LOVED me ride on them, then they sold it. The people bulldozed it and I was devastated thinking they were going to develop it. I went up to them working on it and asked what they were up to and found out it was going to be a tree farm!! They gave me permission after I told them I'd had it from the previous owners as long as I took care and kept away from the trees. It was nice and they kept it mowed and tilled and was a great workout for new horses and was fun to "pole bend" and teach new horses to rein.

Good luck!
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